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Jethro Tull - Songs From The Wood CD (album) cover

SONGS FROM THE WOOD

Jethro Tull

 

Prog Folk

4.16 | 952 ratings

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LiquidEternity
Prog Reviewer
4 stars This album is generally regarded as the return of Jethro Tull to the forefront of the prog folk scene.

I agree. This is the first moment that the band reaches anything near the energy levels of their masterpiece, Thick as a Brick. But here the rock dwindles almost entirely away, and we are left with entertaining acoustic guitars and a whole lot more flute than usual. The vocal melodies (and, oh my, are those harmonies in a Jethro Tull song?) are probably the best they recorded onto any album. The band is functioning here as a tight-knit and well-practiced band, rather than a number of players performing some half-baked semi-progressive attempts at complicated music (sorry about all the hyphens). The sound dynamics and production are top notch, possibly the best in this three album period (including the two following Songs from the Wood), which is possibly the best period in Jethro Tull's 70s output.

Every single one of the songs on this album are quality. The opening title track features some neat vocal rounds and a well-written main section. Jack-in-the-Green and Cup of Wonder are both splendid tracks, though nothing about them really stands out. Hunting Girl literally explodes with good double bass drumming and a melody that doesn't leave my head for days. Ring Out Solstice Bells and Velvet Green are both beautiful tracks, more mellow, but built around a solid folk feel. The Whistler features probably Ian's greatest flute moments ever, making the whole song high-energy and wildly folky. Kind of like a fireside hoedown with a free show of Superman on the flute. Pibroch (Cap in Hand) is a longer track with some really neat guitar and flute sounds at the beginning, possibly some of the most progressive production that Tull ever bothered with. The closer, Fire at Midnight, is a standard sort of folk track, but with some wonderful melodic hooks and a sweet bit of flute.

If the album had a bit more variation on it, then it could rank up there with Thick as a Brick. But then, it's place is not to vary a lot but rather to present Jethro Tull's impressive handle on progressive folk. This is a highly recommended album to fans of folk anywhere, fans of Tull anywhere, and fans of plain good music almost anywhere.

LiquidEternity | 4/5 |

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